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June 23, 2017

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Romania prosecutors probe children sent to France to steal

Updated Monday, June 19, 2017 | 8:45 a.m.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors have searched homes as part of an investigation into an organized crime group suspected of sending more than 70 children to France to steal from offices or pick pockets.

Prosecutors said in a statement Monday that they have identified 120 people they want to question in the case, including minors aged 10-13, in Romania and in Paris.

Prosecutors said group members are suspected of exploiting their own children in the northeastern Romanian city of Iasi and in Paris.

It said parents organized the children, telling them when and where to operate and hide the stolen goods. It said children were trained in Iasi and then sent to France.

Romanian authorities began working with French police on the case in 2016.